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As I may, without vanity, presume that the name and official description prefixed to this Proem will secure it, from the sedate and reflecting part of mankind, to whom only I would be understood to address myself, such attention as is due to the sedulous instructor of youth, and the careful performer of my Sabbath duties, I will forbear to hold up a candle to the daylight, or to point out to the judicious those recommendations of my labours which they must necessarily anticipate from the perusal of the title-page. Nevertheless, I am not unaware, that, as Envy always dogs Merit at the heels, there may be those who will whisper, that albeit my learning and good principles cannot (lauded be the heavens) be denied by any one, yet that my situation at Gandercleugh hath been more favourable to my acquisitions in learning than to the enlargement of my views of the ways and works of the present generation. To the which objection, if, peradventure, any such shall be started, my answer shall be threefold:
The historical gap between '' The Abbot'' and "Kenilworth" is very slight. The latter deals with Queen Mary's '' sister and foe, the celebrated Elizabeth," says Scott. "The interest of the story is thrown upon that period when the sudden death of the first Countess of Leicester seemed to open to the ambition of her husband the opportunity of sharing the crown of his sovereign." The story gives a fine picture of the haughty Queen surrounded by her courtiers and men famous in history. Edward Tressilian, a young gentleman who has loved Amy Robsart, a maiden of good family, is distressed to hear that she is living sequestered in a country villa near Oxford. Believing her dishonored, he makes his way thither and entreats her to return to her father. She refuses, throwing out hints of a high and honorable alliance. Leaving in despair, he fights with Richard Varney, whom he suspects of base dealing toward Amy, but Varney is saved by the intervention of Lambourne. Varney is, in fact, only the tool and lieutenant of "England's proudest earl," Leicester, who, having become enamored of Amy Robsart, has recently persuaded her to enter into a secret but lawful marriage with him. The earl has fitted up the country nest of his bride—Cumnor Place—in truly regal style, but Amy is guarded by Varney and a surly steward named Foster, whose daughter is her sole maid ...
Set at the time of the Third Crusade (1189 - 92), "The Betrothed" is the first of Scott's "Tales of the Crusaders." The betrothed is Eveline, daughter of a Norman noble, who is a victim of the Crusade in that her intended husband is required by the Church to fulfil his vow to join the war and departs for three years. The full horror of an arranged marriage, and of being a possible prize as men seek to gain possession of her is vividly realised -- the heroine is never free; her fate is always determined by the agency of men. And being set on the Marches of Wales, it is not just men but differing cultures that strive for mastery over her.
The second novel written by Scott turned aside from the path of history, so successfully followed in "Waverley," and dealt no less happily with private scenes and characters. Some of the most enduring and popular types in the author's entire gallery are to be found in "Guy Mannering." Godfrey Bertram, the easy-going laird of the Ellengowan estate, whose hearth-stone is open to vagrant and gentleman alike, shelters a young Englishman of good family during a night when an heir is born to Ellangowari. The vistor, Guy Mannering, knows the rudiments of the discredited science of astrology, and—partly out of curiosity, partly to gratify the father's whim—casts the horoscope of the infant. The prediction shows three periods of baleful influence upon the child, beginning at five years and ending at twenty-one—the last period strangely coinciding with a storm-centre prophesied for Mannering's promised wife. Disturbed by these coincidences, Mannering absolves astrology henceforth, and in order to avoid the possibility of influencing his host's son, he writes and seals the prediction, with instructions that it be left unopened until after the child's fifth birthday. The next day he departs, and soon after enters military service in India, where he attains the rank of Colonel...
'Far and wide was [Redgauntlet] hated and feared. Men thought he had a direct compact with Satan - that he was proof against steel -.' Set in the summer of 1765, Redgauntlet centres around a third, fictitious, Jacobite rebellion. Kidnapped by Edward Hugh Redgauntlet, a fanatical supporter of the Stewart cause, the young Darsie Latimer finds himself caught up in the plot to enthrone the exiled Prince Charles Edward Stewart. The novel follows Darsie's adventures and those of the advocate Alan Fairford, who sets out to rescue him. These two young men from very different backgrounds are united by friendship and their optimistic belief in the settled Hanoverian establishment. First published in 1824, this is the last of Scott's major Scottish novels, and perhaps his most complex statement about the relation between history and fiction. This edition uses the Magnum text of 1832. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Sir Walter was at his best as a story teller when portraying the life of some adventurous hero of his own highlands. Through this stirring novel he has immortalized the wandering patriot and the beautiful lake beside which he made his home. The young person who thinks that Scott is hard reading will not go far in this book before he loses himself in the narrative and finds himself sitting up nights to finish it. With Introductory Essay and Notes by Andrew Lang.
"Edward Waverley is a young, cultured man whose sensibilities lead to his involvement in the Jacobite Rising of 1745. In his journey into Scotland, down to Derby, and back up again he explores the cultural and political geography of Great Britain." "Waverley; or, 'tis Sixty Years Since was Scott's first novel, but like its final chapter, 'A Postscript, which should have been a Preface', it appears as one of the last in this series, so that the full weight of experience gained from editing Scott's fiction can be brought to understanding his most influential novel, the one which gave its name to the Waverley Novels. To this edition, P. D. Garside brings new insights and new information, and he establishes a text which is significantly different from its predecessors."--BOOK JACKET.
Jeanie Deans, a dairymaid, decides she must walk to London to gain an audience with the Queen. Her sister is to be executed for infanticide and, while refusing to lie to help her case, Jeanie is desperate for a reprieve. Set in the 1730s in a Scotland uneasily united with England, The Heart of Mid-Lothian dramatizes different kinds of justice - that meted out by the Edinburgh mob in the lynching of Captain Porteous, and that encountered by a terrified young girl suspected of killing her baby. Based on an anonymous letter Scot received in 1817, this is the seventh and finest of Scott's 'Waverley' novels. It was an international bestseller and inspired succeeding novelists from Balzac to George Eliot.
Barnaby Rudge, a historical novel, is set in London and deals with the anti-popery events of the 1780s. Wild scenes of massacre involving people from all levels of the society are depicted in Dickens's typically heart-rending manner. It is a story of discrimination and fanaticism.